Expatica news

Infant mortality higher for uneducated

13 March 2007

BRUSSELS – An uneducated women is five times more likely to give birth to a stillborn child than a woman with a university degree. This has emerged from a study of more than 180,000 mothers by the Research Centre on Perinatal Epidemiology (SPE). The results of the study will be published today in the Artsenkrant (bi-weekly journal for the medical profession), according to the Gazet van Antwerpen.

“This is once again proof that the government must invest in education,” say professor Hendrink Cammu and SPE director Guy Martens.

This is the first time that the relationship between educational level and infant mortality has been studied on this kind of scale. The results on foetus mortality are particularly striking. A woman who has only completed lower education is five times more likely (one case in 95) to give birth to a stillborn child than a mother with a university diploma (one in 500).

“The social difference plays less of a role from the moment that the baby is born alive and the paediatrician gets involved,” says Cammu. But the contrast is still visible from this time onwards. “Babies born in lower social classes are three times more likely to die before the age of one than those in the highest social groups.”

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news